Alabama VMA

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Dr. Benhart
Dr. Barbara Benhart
Dr. Milton
Dr. James Milton
Allison Black Cornelius
Allison Black Cornelius
Wayne Brantley
Wayne Brantley


Dr. Lee
Dr. Hank Lee
Dr. Jones
Dr. C. Alan Jones

Event: Emerald Coast Veterinary Conference, June 13-14, Sandestin, Florida
Awards: Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Barbara Benhart, Trussville. Dr. Benhart received her veterinary degree from Auburn University in 1969 and practices ambulatory equine medicine in the central Alabama area. A past president of the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, she has served as secretary of the Jefferson County VMA for more than 40 years. From 2006-16, Dr. Benhart was in charge of equine continuing education at the Southern Veterinary Conference. Distinguished Service Award: Dr. James Milton, Birmingham, for exceptional achievements and contributions to the advancement of the profession. A 1967 veterinary graduate of Auburn University and a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, Dr. Milton founded Veterinary Surgery of Birmingham in 1995. Earlier in his career, he served as a professor and conducted research in small animal orthopedics at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. Layperson-of-the-Year Award: Allison Black Cornelius, Birmingham, for contributions toward the advancement of the profession and the association. Cornelius is the chief executive officer of the Greater Birmingham Humane Society. Under her leadership, the society has seen an exponential rise in adoptions, out-of-state transports, and number of animals helped. The society has also established an externship for Auburn's veterinary college and added animal control contracts for Jefferson County and several cities. Cornelius is the founder of Blackfish Strategies, consulting with nonprofit organizations and providing executive coaching and education. Special Award: Wayne Brantley, Montgomery, and Kaye Knight, awarded posthumously. Brantley is the zookeeper at the Montgomery Zoo. He was honored for his efforts in educating young people who visit the zoo. Knight was the founder of Sky Hill Animal Society in Selma. She was recognized for her dedication to the care of unwanted and neglected animals. Service Award: Drs. Arthur Serwitz, Birmingham; Brad Fields, Pike Road; Lewis Benefield, Montgomery; Thomas Fell, Mobile; Hank Lee, Atmore; Steven Murphree, Cullman; and Frances Kendrick, Selma
Officials: Drs. Hank Lee, Atmore, president; C. Alan Jones, Hazel Green, president-elect; Randy Davis, Tuscumbia, vice president; Mark Russell, Huntsville, treasurer; Steven Murphree, Cullman, member at large; and Charles Ashwander, Decatur, immediate past president